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Over 26,000 storm-affected people supported

Over 26,000 storm-affected people supported

UNDP resident representative in Vietnam Caitlin Wiesen (R) poses for a photo with a recipient of the program at the handover ceremony on April 29 - PHOTO: COURTESY OF UNDP

HCMC - More than 26,000 poor and near-poor people affected by recent storms and floods in central provinces such as Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue have been provided stabilization support.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the local authorities and the Red Cross have completed the repair and reinforcement of storm-resilient features for more than 3,300 damaged houses and provided 3,323 gender-responsive household kits for poor and near-poor households in these provinces.

This emergency assistance is part of the "Response to Disasters in Vietnam" project funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund. In addition, UNDP has supported the construction of 20 new safe houses with full storm- and flood-resilient features in Quang Nam and Quang Ngai. Those in Ly Son Island, Quang Ngai Province, have particularly more resilient features and are powered by solar panels.

Since last October, central Vietnam has been impacted by a series of successive intense storms and record-level floods. According to the Central Steering Committee for Natural Disaster Prevention and Control, more than 230 people were reported dead or missing and at least 380,000 houses were flooded, damaged or destroyed.

In the aftermath, tens of thousands of the most vulnerable were left with nothing but damaged houses, destroyed livelihoods and ruined crops. Many people lost almost all of their household possessions to the floodwaters and many others became homeless, making the lives of the poor and near-poor, who already have minimal resources, even more difficult.

Addressing the handover of the new resilient and repaired houses to local low-income households on April 29, Tran Van Tan, vice chairman of Quang Nam Province, said, “We highly appreciate UNDP’s efforts and timely assistance in building and repairing the damaged houses of the poor to help them recover from disasters. We hope to continue to receive support to help vulnerable people have a better life."

Representing the poor households who received the support, Luu Thi Phuong from Que Son District thanked UNDP, the Provincial People's Committee and the Red Cross, saying, “Without this support, I don't know when my sons and I would be able to build such a resilient house.”

According to Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP resident representative in Vietnam, the resilient houses have saved thousands of lives during the historic floods and storms that battered the central region. However, there is still a long way to go to reach all those in need. For this reason, UNDP is also organizing a crowdfunding campaign, “Safe houses save lives”, to support the construction of an initial 100 new houses in highly vulnerable locations.

“In particular, our houses on Ly Son Island will have a new and strengthened design addressing the special conditions of the wind forces impacting the islands and a rooftop solar system capable of providing a sufficient lighting system for the households,” she added.

Moreover, with the support of the Green Climate Fund, the Government of Vietnam and UNDP, more than 430 safe houses able to withstand storms and floods have been built for the poor and near-poor in Quang Nam Province from 2018 until now.

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